Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

My Journey with Ignatian Spirituality – Part II


Long journey with friends

Originally uploaded by / Arthur Tsao Photography /

I’ve been on my Ignatian Spirituality journey for just over a week now. Due to my travels back East, I missed my first group session, but I’m looking forward to the next one coming up Tuesday night.

Each day we are to take a half hour to an hour to pray through a passage of scripture. We are to approach the scriptures with the realization that the living Word is in our presence. In the first reading we are to read the passage slowly, softly out loud. After this we are to write down words or phrases that stuck with us, contemplating those words or phrases asking – What does it mean? Who said it? What was the speaker feeling? To whom was the word or phrase addressed?

Next, we are to think about what this all means to us, our personal history, our current life. And finally we are to tell God what we thought about and what we felt in God’s presence.

This first week of passages were about how “I am sinful, yet loved.” Here are the scriptural passage for this first week.

  • John 4:1-14 Whoever comes to Jesus Christ never thirsts
  • John 10:1-21 Jesus is the Good Shepherd, He knows my name
  • Luke 5:27-32 Jesus comes to people like me
  • Mark 12:1-12 Christ comes to my life world, do I receive him?
  • Matt. 14:13-21 Jesus heals and feeds all the hungry people
  • Luke 15:1-32 Three parables about God’s merciful love

I got a lot out of these passages, let me share with you from my personal journal, my reflections on Mark 12:1-12

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS
Nothing particularly struck me the first time I read this. It was just sort of blank for me.

Upon reading the second time, I paused straight away after the first sentence, “Then Jesus began teaching them with stories.” It was then that I thought about the power of stories, and how we are shaped by the stories we live in. My pause helped me to read this story a bit slower. It was then that I could start to live in the story.

What struck me was how in tune Jesus was, in regard to his own calling. He knew that the cross was ever before hi as he was sharing this story with those who failed to receive him, those who took ownership of the vineyard they didn’t own.

The story then began to turn on me as I asked, “Where am I at in this story? Do I live as if I’m the owner of my life and all I have, or do I live as a faithful steward, recognizing the true owner of myself and all I have?

I want to freshly give myself to you my God, for you are indeed the true owner of all. And what amazes me all the more is how you Jesus are willing to go to the cross for me, in spite of all my selfishness and lack of love. Even when I take what is yours and act as though it is mine, you are still willing to be patient with me and lay your life down for me.

God, help me today to experientially be connected to the love that you have for me. Help me feel your love in the depths of my being. I need to feel your embrace this morning. I need to know that you are with me today, and that your steadfast love continues to flow like living streams of water into my life. I need to feel your love.


4 Responses to My Journey with Ignatian Spirituality – Part II

  1. Tom Smith says:

    Hi JR,

    I am a friend from other JR (Briggs) and am now in the middle of the second week of the exercises and I enjoy your reflections … Shalom from Africa.

  2. JR Woodward says:

    Tom,

    That is pretty cool. Such a small world. Shalom from LA.

  3. p@ul says:

    _Ignatian Life_ tweeted this post and your Part I post, JR. God bless your Exercises, JR and Tom in Africa!
    The Jesuit parish I serve invited people to make the Exercises, and about 60 people have just begun–as individuals and groups. I’ll pass along your reflections, JR.

  4. JR Woodward says:

    Paul,

    That is really good to hear. I hope my reflections bring some encouragement. Peace to you.

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